General and specific problems and the effectivenes of training volunteers - particulary in mental health, healthcare, social organization level

Orsolya Szücs


A series of studies prove that volunteering is a significant and well-studied social responsibility, which has a history, literature, and a training system that goes back three decades. Volunteering is important not only to maintain and develop certain areas society would otherwise not be able to manage , but it can also satisfy our needs on a higher-level: the spiritual desires beyond our basic needs. Volunteering, the work of volunteers, can appear in different layers, in different areas, and it can be defined from multiple aspects The purpose of this study is not to explore and present these aspects however, it is important to mention them to present the activity in a specific training context. The education, the development, and the integration of volunteers into the system in certain areas has become essential for them to be able to respond to emerging needs with well-organized and high-quality professional assistance. This is essential since nowadays volunteers must perform the same level of value-added work in health and social services as paid professionals. In this study, on the one hand, I present the general and special problems and the effectiveness of the training of volunteer professionals who provide assistance to healthcare workers and social workers under the pressure of the pandemics, and on the other hand, I examine all of this in the organizational space, in the area of the operation of nonprofit organization development consultants. While the experiences in the latter field are positive in terms of training, the demand for this service is still lower than in the case of organizations operating in the civil, social, or healthcare fields where they still struggle for survival, focus on their micro-environment, and have little energy and time left to think in a more holistic or unified structure.

Keywords: training of volunteers, nonprofit organization development consulting, volunteer training, professional volunteer helper